An Untitled Life (22’08”)



The painter Rahula lives a modest but contented existence with his family in Mingun, a village on the banks of the Ayeyarwaddy 11km upriver from Mandalay. As a new work takes shape on a canvas in his studio next door to the towering base of Mingun’s famously unfinished brick pagoda, we learn how this easy-going artist has managed to survive a sizable chunk of Myanmar’s chequered history. Sawing the air with his cheroot, the jovial Rahula also reveals how he acquired his unusual name, his now successful abstract style, and met his supportive wife, of whom he admits: ‘If it weren’t for her I’d still be painting pictures of monks and pagodas for the tourists’.

“I first met Rahula in a tea shop in Mingun three years ago. I was struck by his eyes sparkling with intelligence, his love of art and his deep-seated belief in the value of education. What also captivated me about Rahula is that, unusually for a Buddhist, he does not strive for nirvana but wants nothing more than to pursue his current humble existence as an artist. In fact, to him, his present life is his nirvana.”  Shin Daewe (director)

An Untitled Life


Director: Shin Daewe
Camera: Thaiddhi
Sound: Hnin Ei Hlaing
Editor: Shin Daewe


Shin Daewe began her film career as an assistant producer at AV Media. Since joining YFS in 2006 she has created a number of films for NGOs such as Pyoe Pin (A Bright Future, 2009), PSI (The Uninvited Guest, 2006) and Metta Development Foundation (Beyond the Tsunami, 2007). Besides this portrait of the painter Rahula her own documentaries include Robe and On Holiday (both 2011). She is currently working on a film about Myanmar’s recent election entitled The Collector.

Filmography (selection)

2006     The Uninvited Guest (13’49”, director)
2007     Beyond the Tsunami (20’50”, director)
2008     An Untitled Life (22’08”, director and editor)
2009     A Bright Future (15’21”, director)
2011      Robe (7’, director)
2011      On Holiday (19’ director and editor)
2011      The Bamboo Grove (18’42”, producer)

Screening History

September 2009 International Documentary Festival EBS, Seoul, Korea
December 2009 International Documentary Film Festival, Guanghzou, China
August 2010 Film Caravan Wandering Film Festival, Imperia, Liguria, Italy
August 2010 Film Festival du Douarnenez, France
November 2010 exground Film Festival, Wiesbaden, Germany
November 2010 Heinrich Boell Foundation Berlin, Germany
June 2011 In The Palace International Short Film Festival, Balchik, Bulgaria
July 2011 Traumzeit Festival, Duisburg, Germany
October 2011 Lyon Asian Connection Film Festival, France
October 2011 Festival International Signes de Nuit, Paris, France
November 2011 Festival International du Documentaire Étudiant, Saint-Ouen, France
June 2012 The Heart of Slavonia Film Festival, Dakovo, Serbia
November 2012 Fidé Les Impatientes Student Documentary Film Festival, Paris, France
January 2013 DOCPOINT Helsinki Documentary Film Festival, Finland
Mai 2013 International Women’s Film Festival in Seoul, Korea – Asian Spectrum

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